Agrarian Trust

Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles

From Food First:

We, social movements, grassroots organizations and civil society organizations engaged in the defense of the rights to land and water, gathered in October 2014 in Dakar at the African Social Forum. We are fighting and protesting against natural resource grabbing, especially water and land grabbing of our Commons, and against the systematic violations of the associated human rights. Sharing our ideas led to acknowledgement of the essential linkage between our struggles, given the inextricable nature of land and water grabbing. We met again at the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2015 to continue this dialogue with movements and organizations from all over the world in order to broaden this convergence.

To date, more than 200 million hectares of land have been grabbed globally by private firms, governments, elites and speculators, often with the support of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G8 and other institutions and consortiums. The minority’s appropriation of our Commons leads to concentration, forced evictions and the oppression of peoples. This is implemented in the name of environmental protection, the prevention of climate change, the production of “clean” energy, mega-infrastructure projects and/or so-called development, often promoted by Public-Private partnerships, such as the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa. Entire areas and territories are thus dispossessed and local populations evicted, while the loss of identity and ecosystems makes life impossible! Communities whose rights and dignity have been abused find themselves with broken up families, or obliged to become refugees, forced to migrate, lose their rights, and are impoverished and starving. It is estimated that 3.000 persons die each day due to lack of water. The access to and management of spaces of community life are destroyed by military and armed groups that perpetuate war and occupation, criminal State authorities, supported by economic, financial and political elites. This undermines local food systems and many local producers who feed the majority of the world’s population. When people resist they are criminalized, jailed and killed.

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